When Antonio Swad, founder and CEO of Pizza Patron, announced in December that his 60-location franchise would start accepting pesos, he got more attention than he ever thought possible -- including death threats. The promotion was supposed to end last week. Only thing is, the "peso gimmick," as Swad called it in The New York Times recently, made Swad a small fortune: Says a press release sent out today: "Pizza Patron has reported record sales for the fourth quarter of 2006 and now has set new all time sales records for January and February 2007, citing the Pizza por Pesos program as one of the major factors."
So, naturally, Swad has decided, death threats or no, to extend the promotion indefinitely. "What the Pesos for Pizza program is intended to do is reinforce our brand promise -- as the premier U.S. Latino brand and focus on serving the Latino community like we have done for 20 years," Swad says. "We have carved this niche in the pizza industry to compete and serve an underserved market -- the Latino consumer, not to make any political statement. Some of the critics of the acceptance of Pesos as currency have really never heard of Pizza Patron, and would never buy a pizza from us anyhow." The entire release is after the jump. --Robert Wilonsky
Despite Death Threats and National Debate Pizza Patron(R) Will Continue to Accept 'Pesos for Pizza'; Latino Pizza Chain Garners National Media Coverage, Debate and Death Threats for Accepting Pesos From its Guests - Plans to Continue Program Indefinitely
DALLAS, March 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Pizza Patron(R), the premier Latino pizza brand that launched its Pizza por Pesos(TM) program in December and accepted Mexican pesos as well as U.S. currency at each of its 60 locations nationwide, was scheduled to run the program until the end of February 2007, announced today they will continue to accept Pesos at all of its locations indefinitely despite the major media attention, debate across the country and death threats.
With national news coverage and television segments on CNN Prime News, Fox & Friends and CNBC as well as hundreds of newspapers and websites across the country, the public has been getting an earful since Pizza Patron began accepting Pesos for Pizza. In January, Pizza Patron reported they received heated emails and several death threats.
"What the Pesos for Pizza program is intended to do is reinforce our brand promise -- as the premier US Latino brand and focus on serving the Latino community like we have done for 20 years," says Antonio Swad, founder and CEO of Pizza Patron. "We have carved this niche in the pizza industry to compete and serve an underserved market -- the Latino consumer, not to make any political statement."
Pizza Patron has reported record sales for the fourth quarter of 2006 and now has set new all time sales records for January and February 2007, citing the Pizza por Pesos program as one of the major factors.
"Some of the critics of the acceptance of Pesos as currency have really never heard of Pizza Patron, and would never buy a pizza from us anyhow," Swad continued. "The positive reaction we are seeing is from our core customer, the Latino families that we serve in each community, are far greater than the negative. Our guests are thrilled with this service, and our sales for January and February have set records to prove it. What we intended to do, we are doing -- making Pizza Patron a better choice for our customers than any of our competitors."
About Pizza Patron(R)
Pizza Patron(R) was founded by Antonio Swad in 1986. Since franchising began in March 2003, the brand has gone from four locations to 141 either open or under development. Pizza Patron features fun and festive carryout-only pizza stores that are community based in Spanish speaking or predominately Hispanic neighborhoods and recently added its first dine-in location in May 2005. In late 2006, Pizza Patron launched "Pesos for Pizza," as a service to its Latino guests, which created national news coverage. All pizza dough is made fresh throughout the evening; no preservatives are added or needed. The sauce is prepared fresh in the stores from crushed Roma tomatoes, and only 100 percent mozzarella is used. Whole and half pizzas are offered at prices as low as $4.99 for a large pizza with cheese and one topping and $3.49 for the same half pizza. A large "La Patrona" pizza with everything is only $7.99.
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